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LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL-Ravallo Resort Development Co. is planning to break ground in the fall on the $800-million Ravallo Resort & Conference Center on Palm Parkway. The project, situated next to a lake on 11 acres, will feature twin 23-story “green” towers with 900 condo hotel suites and an adjoining 100,000-sf conference center.

Arlington, VA-based Interstate Hotels & Resorts has received the nod to manage the resort. “We have a substantial history in the management of condo hotels and are quite familiar with this business model and its unique needs and requirements,” says Interstate CEO Thomas Hewitt.

The one- and two-bedroom units will range in size from 651 sf to 1,700 sf with prices ranging from $652,000 to $1.7 million. The project is expected to open in December 2008. Among project amenities are a beach, two pools, restaurants, salon and spa, fitness center and complementary shuttle to area attractions.

The project is in close proximity to the 2.5-million-sf Orange County Convention Center, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, shopping centers and golf courses.

As of Feb. 28, Interstate operated 204 hospitality properties with more than 46,000 rooms in 36 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and Russia. “There are few management companies with experience in this sector, and Interstate’s proven track record with condo hotels, together with their size, which translates into operating and purchasing economies of scale, made them a pretty compelling candidate,” says David Townsend, of Ravallo Resort Development Co.

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